School Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure


Introduction

A university is concerned with the search for truth, the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge, the interpretation of old and new ideas, and the education of individuals so that they will strive to achieve these objectives throughout their lives. The objectives of the School of Education are derived from and are consistent with these objectives of the university. As members of the university community and the academic profession, faculty members are entitled to academic freedom, and also are bound by the obligation to exercise academic freedom responsibly.

This document describes policies and procedures related to promotion in academic rank and the awarding of tenure in the School of Education at the University of Kansas. In order to insure academic freedom, per university regulations, tenured faculty members may only be dismissed for adequate cause, program discontinuance, or extraordinary circumstances caused by financial exigency. Because of this, decisions about the conferral of tenure must be accorded the utmost consideration, consistent with university guidelines.

Within the University of Kansas, the School of Education is viewed as a professional school with major responsibility to a unique and very significant segment of society - the teaching professions and related fields. The Mission of the School of Education (2001) is a basic document defining the role of the school. As such, any policies and procedures concerning promotion and tenure must be consistent with it.

The school's mission is to: 1) prepare individuals to be leaders and practitioners in education and related human service fields, 2) expand and deepen the understanding of education as a fundamental human endeavor, and 3) help society define and respond to its educational responsibilities and challenges. To accomplish this mission, the school: 1) offers an extensive curriculum leading to academic degrees and professional licensure, 2) requires faculty and students to engage in scholarship, 3) advises and mentors students so that they become responsible and responsive guardians of the profession, and 4) provides a wide range of professional services to schools, other institutions, and individuals.

Procedures

Measures described herein must in all respects be in correspondence with university rules as described in Article VI of the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations, as well as the University Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure. The P & T guidelines outlined in Article VI of the university handbook stipulate specifically how materials are to be prepared and organized, what they should include, and how they are to be evaluated. It may be obtained through university on-line resources. In particular, consideration and evaluation of a candidate’s record is a confidential personnel matter, confidentiality should be maintained throughout the various steps described below.

The path leading to promotion and/or tenure requires highly purposeful activity by the candidate, the department, the school, and the university. The process is intended to not only provide a fair

At the Department Level

There are three distinct phases in departmental involvement in the promotion and tenure process: 1) Identification; 2) Preparation; and 3) Evaluation. During the spring semester, all faculty members are reviewed as part of the annual evaluation process. Faculty members who will be candidates for promotion and/or tenure in the following academic year can be identified at this time.

Identification occurs in one of three ways. First, as a result of the annual faculty evaluation process, a particular faculty member's readiness for promotion/tenure is recognized. After discussion with the candidate, there is agreement that materials should be assembled and submitted for consideration for promotion/tenure. From first appointment as assistant professor to advancement to associate professor, the normal expectation for time in rank is five to six years. From first appointment as associate professor to professor, the normal expectation for time in rank is five to six years. Secondly, the individual faculty member can self-nominate for promotion outside the regular departmental review procedure. Such a recommendation will be referred to the department personnel committee as established in Article VI 1.1. of the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (FSRR). Thirdly, all tenure track faculty members will be reviewed for promotion and tenure in accordance with the date of their mandatory tenure review. The tenure decision must be made for all tenure-track faculty members prior to the end of their designated probationary periods. The Provost’s Office notifies the dean annually of all individuals for whom mandatory tenure reviews must occur during the following academic year. Review of the candidate follows the same procedure as other reviews.

Preparation entails the following steps. After identification in the spring semester, the candidate is responsible for preparing the dossier and associated materials. Materials should be prepared as required by the university P & T guidelines, as specified in Article VI 1.1. of the FSRR. Department members (a senior faculty member, faculty mentor or other colleagues) may advise the candidate this time in selecting and organizing materials, and assist with the collection of data pertinent to teaching, research or scholarship, and service. When materials are complete, the candidate must sign the dossier, attesting that it is ready for review. No further revisions of the dossier or addition of documentary materials can be added after the dossier is submitted to the department personnel committee. The department chair or departmental personnel committee chair will contact external reviewers. Procedures for soliciting external reviews are found in the Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure in Article VI of the FSRR.

Evaluation occurs during the fall semester. Following school timelines, the departmental personnel committee will review the candidate's materials and make evaluative judgments in accordance with procedures described in the university P & T guidelines. The department personnel committee in this phase fulfills an evaluative function only; there is no opportunity for additions or revisions of the dossier at this time. Normally, all recommendations for promotion to the rank of associate professor, if the faculty member is not already tenured, will be considered for the award of tenure.

In its evaluation and documentation of their recommendation for a candidate, the department committee must demonstrate how the applicant's work meets or fails to meet department, school, and university expectations in the areas of teaching, research or scholarship, and service. The department personnel committee forwards its evaluation and recommendations to the department chair. The department chair shall indicate her or his concurrence or non-concurrence with each recommendation and forward it with additional comments, if desired, to the school personnel committee. All dossiers (both positive and negative recommendations) must be forwarded to the school personnel committee for review. All candidates should be notified of the decision and that the file is being forwarded in accordance with Article VI, Section 6.1.1 of the FSRR and confidentiality of the process (e.g., voting information is not transmitted).

Written feedback to all candidates is required on recommendation, ratings, and rationale for ratings from department committees including explanation of reasons for a negative decision. Candidates must also receive a copy of “request for information letters” (formerly checkback) from the department committee and be invited to assist with the response or include their own response. Furthermore, the candidate will be provided the opportunity to submit a written response to a final rating of teaching, research, or service below the level of “good”. The candidate’s response will be included with the dossier forwarded to the committee at the next level (the school committee). In the case of negative recommendations, dossiers will be forwarded to the next level of review if it is the candidate’s mandatory review year or if the candidate requests it. Following such notification the candidate faculty member also may withdraw from consideration if there is a negative decision. Such withdrawal should be in writing to the dean who forwards the information to the Provost’s Office in cases of the mandatory tenure review.

At the School Level

The school personnel committee serves as the committee responsible for reviewing promotion and/or tenure dossiers. This committee is composed of tenured faculty members with one representative chosen by each department and two members elected from the school at large. After receiving completed dossiers, the school personnel committee, following school and university timelines, examines the candidate's materials, makes evaluative judgments in accordance with procedures described in the university P & T guidelines, and forwards its recommendations to the dean. This review is to be fully independent of a candidate’s departmental review, although information from the department review should be considered. No new information is to be added to the initial review except for the possible inclusion of a written statement by the candidate and/or in response to a request for information from the school review committee.

During this review, additional information may be requested from the department or administrative unit, and that the request should specify the information sought and the reasons for the request. If the school personnel committee's recommendation differs from that of the department personnel committee, or if the school committee has questions concerning the application, a request for information procedure will be initiated through the department chair. The candidate will also be informed of the request for information by the school committee. The department committee will be asked to respond to the issues raised and provide additional written documentation and/or comment. The candidate may add additional materials to the dossier during the request for information period.

After any additional information is received (if requested), and candidate’s file is complete, the school committee will conduct its evaluation and a final vote will be taken with a 2/3 majority required for a positive recommendation. The school personnel committee's evaluation is then forwarded to the dean. As at the department level, all candidates should be notified of the decision and that the file is being forwarded in accordance with Article VI, Section 6.1.1 of the FSRR and confidentiality of the process (e.g., voting information is not transmitted). Written feedback to all candidates is required on recommendation, ratings, and rationale for ratings from school committee, including explanation of reasons for a negative decision. The dean will communicate the recommendations of the intermediate review to the candidate and to provide the candidate with a copy of the corresponding evaluation section of the promotion and tenure form.

Candidates must also receive a copy of “request for information letters” (formerly checkback) from the school committee and be invited to assist with the response or include their own response. Furthermore, the candidate will be provided the opportunity to submit a written response to a final rating of teaching, research, or service below the level of “good”. The candidate’s response will be included with the dossier forwarded to the committee at the next level (UCPT). In the case of negative recommendations, dossiers will be forwarded to the next level of review if it is the candidate’s mandatory review year or if the candidate requests it. Following such notification the faculty member also may withdraw from consideration if there is a negative decision. Such withdrawal should be in writing to the dean who forwards the information to the Provost’s Office in cases of the mandatory tenure review.

In the case of a request for information from the UCPT, the dean will immediately provide a copy of the request to the candidate and inform the initial review committee. A candidate may file either a response to a negative recommendation from the UCPT and/or the Provost or an appeal of the recommendation within 10 days of UCPT notification of a negative recommendation. Appeals will be heard by the Faculty Rights Board, and recommendations from the Faculty Rights Board must be forwarded to the chancellor by April 15. If the committee cannot agree on a recommendation by that date, they will so inform the chancellor and forward all materials for her or his consideration.

Procedures for Progress toward Tenure (Mid-Probationary) Review

Faculty members who are appointed to tenure-line probationary positions will be reviewed by both the department personnel committee and school personnel committee during the year that is approximately halfway through the period of probation. For assistant professors, the normal time of review will be during the third year of appointment. The purpose of this review is to determine whether the faculty member is making expected progress toward tenure. This evaluation by both the department personnel committee and school personnel committee is not a part of the mandatory review dossier or process for the later promotion and/or tenure decision. While this evaluation is designed primarily to supply formative feedback about the strengths and weaknesses of the candidate's record during the early years of his or her professional career, lack of sufficient progress at this point can lead to a recommendation of non-reappointment. The process for this review follows the same procedures as the mandatory review process with the exception of solicitation of external reviews of scholarship. However, in some cases, departments may wish to seek additional information from an external reviewer.

Candidates should prepare their dossiers for this review following the guidelines of the Progress Toward Tenure Form (the format is consistent with the Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure in Article VI of the FSRR). These guidelines and the form are available on –line www.ku.edu/~provost/forms). The department following the same procedures utilized in promotion/tenure decisions will conduct evaluation of teaching competency, research or scholarly productivity and service. After evaluation of the candidate's dossier is complete, the dossier and recommendation (continuing appointment, another formal probationary review within a year, or non-reappointment) will be submitted to the school personnel committee for its review. A written summary assessment of teaching, research or scholarship, and service as well as feedback regarding continued performance is also submitted to the school personnel committee.

The responsibility of the school personnel committee is to review the summary document to ensure an objective assessment of professional accomplishments and development and to provide feedback to the individual, the department, and the department chair in supporting continued progress before a promotion and/or tenure decision is required. It is also the responsibility of school personnel committee to ensure that the faculty member’s actual accomplishments documented in the dossier support the recommendation for continued appointment, formal review the following year or non-reappointment. The school personnel committee will follow the same procedures as employed in the promotion and/or tenure decision-making process. The written summary assessment is forwarded to the dean for transmission to the faculty member and department chair. A formal feedback conference is held with the faculty member and department chair (and faculty mentor, if desired or departmental practice).

Evaluation Criteria

Three areas of professional activity - teaching, research or scholarship, and service - which encompass the functions of a faculty member will be assessed. Although teaching and research or scholarship are the most heavily weighted dimensions at the School and University levels, expectations and standards related to service must be met.

Promotion to Associate Professor and the Granting of Tenure

Because achieving the rank of associate professor and receiving tenure status represent the most significant commitments of the school and university to the individual, a person promoted at this level should have demonstrated evidence of being an effective teacher, a productive scholar, and a contributor to the university community and profession. Demonstrated teaching competence, reflecting an in-depth understanding of one's field, is expected for promotion to associate professor. The candidate has begun to establish a specialty area of research or scholarship that is indicative of a sustainable program of research or scholarship. Furthermore, the candidate should have demonstrated a sustained effort in service to the department, school, university and the external community.

Awarding of Tenure Only

In certain circumstances, a faculty member may be hired at the associate professor rank without the award of tenure. The standards for receiving tenure are the same as those for promotion to associate professor with tenure. The faculty member is expected to have demonstrated teaching competence based on an emerging in-depth understanding of their field; established a specialty area of scholarship leading to a sustainable program of research or scholarship; and documented departmental, school, and/or university citizenship and service to the professional education community.

Consideration of Prior Higher Education Experience

When a faculty member has had prior academic, research or professional appointments, the associated record of teaching, research or scholarship and/or service supports the initial hiring and appointment rank decision. This record may also establish a base for future scholarly work. If the prior experience has been at another university or college, this record and pattern of teaching, service and/or scholarly effort is reviewed as a part of the promotion and tenure process. However, in determining the final promotion and/or tenure decision, emphasis is placed on the record of teaching, research or scholarship, and service since the initial tenure-track appointment at KU.

Promotion to Professor

The title of professor represents the highest level of academic rank, and it is reserved for a person who has demonstrated mastery of a specialty area for which they have established a national and/or international reputation for contributions to the discipline or professional scholarly field. For promotion to full professor, it is anticipated that service will be of national scope and reflect discipline or field leadership. The candidate should have been engaged in: a) significant research and publication or other scholarly endeavors which further the knowledge base of the profession, b) development of an atmosphere which promotes the pursuit of diligent and creative learning, c) professional activities which have established his/her leadership in the field, and d) continuing service to the department, school, university, and the community at large.

Teaching, Research or Scholarship, and Service

In the following sections, examples of documentation supporting the functions of teaching, research or scholarship, and service are provided. Departments in their annual faculty evaluation reviews utilize these examples, so that documentation for annual evaluations may be as consistent as possible with promotion and/or tenure process. However, the annual evaluation process may weight specific documentation in a different manner and consider differential adjustments in the emphasis across teaching, research and service than found in the promotion and/or tenure decision process. Also, the criteria for annual evaluation may not reflect the pattern of performance underlying the promotion and tenure decision. Candidates for promotion and/or tenure recognize that evidence of such accomplishments must be of a quantity and quality that meets university criteria and is competitive with that of candidates throughout the university.

Teaching

Teaching refers to classroom instructional activities or small group activities directly related to classroom instruction. Teaching also relates in the School of Education to advisement, the direct supervision of student teaching, and internships or practicum experiences when such activities involve the analysis and direction of a student's work. At the graduate level, instructional activities include supervision of theses and dissertations, mentoring graduate students supervision of independent study, doctoral committee membership, and evaluation activities such as participation in preliminary and final examinations.

Documentation:

  • Systematic assessment of student opinion relating to instructional performance. The results of student evaluation of teaching conducted by the university are required. University evaluation forms must be included for all courses taught immediately prior to the time of review, for a period of at least five years of teaching, or less if appointment has been fewer than five years. All of the forms for each class to be considered must be included for review, including those with student comments.
    Candidates must submit a statement of teaching approach and philosophy (also required by university P & T guidelines).
    Additional evidence of teaching effectiveness is expected, in addition to the university form, with an appropriate rationale. Examples of these can include the following*:
  • University or school-wide awards for teaching excellence.
  • Statements by peers relating to a faculty member's instructional performance and to his/her depth of understanding in the field of specialization as well as his/her ability to communicate it to others. Such statements should be based on direct observation of instruction and/or evaluation of course syllabi.
  • Evidence of leadership in the development of new courses and the introduction of new methods of instruction and/or professional training.
  • Evidence of effective student advising and direction of graduate studies, including mentoring graduate students.
    Or other evaluation documents.

Evaluation

Candidates within Departments should be provided a standard set of procedures for objectively assessing teaching competence. It is imperative that a variety of indices of teaching competence be considered. Evidence should be submitted to the school personnel committee related to the data collection procedures followed for each candidate by the departmental personnel committee.

Research or Scholarship

The terms research and scholarship are understood to include critical evaluation and artistic creation and performance, as well as discovery and interpretation in the social and natural world. Candidates for promotion and tenure are expected to publish their work in refereed print or electronic journals. In keeping with university guidelines, departments are responsible for obtaining external review and analysis of research and creative or artistic performance. Departments must provide information about the qualifications of the reviewers selected and the publication or presentation outlets employed by the author. This may consist of rejection rates, external rankings, or other data sources.

Other Examples of Documentation*:

  • Invited or competitively accepted papers to be presented at professionally recognized conferences of international, national, regional, and state organizations.
  • Obtaining external funding for scholarly work in one's discipline.
  • Publication of books, book chapters, and monographs relevant to the author's field of scholarship.
  • Publication of tests, mediated resources and instructional materials when professional colleagues have reviewed those products.

Evaluation

In all evaluations of research or scholarship, excellence and extension of knowledge are the primary considerations. In addition, the following factors will be considered:

  • The prestige of a journal, a book publisher, or a professional conference. Usually, works published in journals with an international or national readership will be viewed as more important than works in state, regional or local journals.
  • The audience to which the work is aimed. It is important to publish in an outlet that is read or heard by the audience for whom it is intended.
  • Proportionate involvement in co-authored works must be specified.
  • Research or scholarship published in electronic form should be evaluated in ways that reflect the values and priorities of the candidate's professional field.

Service

Service includes activities that are of benefit to the departments, institutes, centers, school, university, community of scholars, and local, state, regional, and national communities, but that cannot be adequately classified as either "teaching" or "research" or “scholarship.”

Examples of Documentation*:

  • Chairing or participating as a member on a department, institute, center, school, or university committee.
  • Chairing a committee for a national or international scholarly or professional organization.
  • Engaging in extensive administrative work for a department, institute, center, school, or the university.
  • Editing or serving on the editorial board of a scholarly or professional journal.
  • Consulting with local, state, regional or national educational or social services, agencies, or institutions, including proposal review.
  • Arranging and chairing a state or national conference
  • Participating as a committee member in a local, state, regional, national, or international scholarly or professional organization.
  • Participating as a member of a state curriculum committee.
  • Participating as a member of a local professional organization committee.
  • Speaking at a local education or social service group.
  • Working with local schools or social service agencies.
  • Providing leadership to student organizations.
  • Mentoring colleagues.

Evaluation of Service

The School of Education Personnel Committee will evaluate each person's service contribution in terms of its significance and required level of commitment. "outside" service will be regarded as being more valuable in terms of promotion if it is closely related to the faculty member's teaching or research or scholarship.

* Examples are intended to be illustrative, and not an exhaustive list of possibilities

policies

School of Education & Human Sciences - Policy Index

See also: KU Policy Office's School of Education and Human Sciences page.

Policy document title Link to Content
School of Education and Human Sciences Undergraduate & Graduate Travel & Research Support Guidelines view
Department of Special Education Promotion and Tenure Criteria and Procedures Approved by the Faculty Senate Committee on Standards and Procedures for Promotion and Tenure, April 2019 view
Department of Special Education Post-tenure Review Criteria and Procedures Approved by Special Education Faculty, April, 2014 view
Department of Special Education Code (Revised October, 2016) view
Department of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies Guidelines for Tenure and/or Promotion and Third Year Progress Toward Tenure Review view
School of Education and Human Sciences Code view
School of Education Grade Dispute Procedures view
School of Education, University of Kansas Post-tenure Review Criteria and Procedures view
School Guidelines for Promotion and Tenure view